Dr Ross Balchin, a clinical neuropsychologist based at Groote Schuur Hospital and guest lecturer in the Department of Psychology, has won the prestigious British Psychological Society (BPS) Book Award. Working with Brain Injury: A primer for psychologists working in under-resourced settings scooped the Practitioner Text category. This is his first book award.
Balchin said that he is honoured to have been acknowledged for his contributions to the field of psychology.
“Given the status of the British Psychological Society and the size of the competition, it's a very prestigious international award,” he said.
Balchin's co-author is Dr Rudi Coetzer, senior lecturer in clinical neuropsychology at Bangor University.
A hands-on, user-friendly resource
The Practitioner Text category is for titles that have “made a significant impact in expounding and promulgating an evidence-based approach, to an area of practice of psychology”.
Balchin describes the book as “a hands-on, user-friendly resource that imparts the essential competencies and practical skills needed to work in clinical neuropsychology”. As such, it will be especially useful to students, trainees, interns, newly qualified psychologists, and practitioners in other clinical professions.
Its general message is that even in settings with limited resources, one can still gain the competencies needed to care for brain-injured patients and provide practical assessments and rehabilitation services.
Balchin currently teaches the first year of UCT's neuropsychology master's programme and works with the Neuropsychoanalysis Foundation in New York as an independent contractor. He has held National Research Foundation and Claude Leon Foundation postdoctoral fellowships and is a former honorary research associate in UCT's Division of Neurosurgery.
He also has research collaborations in the areas of depression, traumatic brain injury and the effects of radiation-based therapies on neurocognitive functioning. He's particularly interested in cross-cultural neuropsychology and in addressing the challenges associated with developing culturally fair and appropriate materials for clinical assessment.
Story Helen Swingler. Photo Michael Hammond.
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